State Senate approves Madera County tribal casino

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) The state Senate has approved a compact that will let the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians build a casino north of Fresno, nearly 40 miles from the tribe's reservation.

The federal government and Gov. Jerry Brown decided that the Madera County location along Highway 99 has historic ties to the 1,900-member tribe.

Opponents say the off-reservation casino sets a precedent that could lead to Las Vegas-style gambling in urban areas. Concerned lawmakers are forming a panel to study the issue.

AB277 also ratifies an agreement with the Wiyot tribe, which agreed not to open a casino on its Humboldt County property if it receives a portion of the revenue from the Madera County casino.

The Senate approved the compact 22-11 Thursday, sending it to Brown for his signature.